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What is bulimia?Bulimia nervosa is a disorder of eating behavior that consists of a lack of control over the food, with an intake of large amounts of food in a short period of time, accompanied by compensatory behaviors such as excessive consumption of self induced vomiting or laxatives. The patient keeps these behaviors in secret, so it is sometimes difficult people in your environment to detect the problem.
Along with anorexia nervosa, bulimia are eating disorders (TCA) fastest growing young population, characterized by a set of behaviors to achieve or maintain what the patient considered as acceptable weight, following a diet totally unreasonable and with an anguished fear of weight gain.
It occurs in 90% of cases in women; They can also suffer men, although their proportion is about ten times less. It is common in adolescents and in the beginning of adulthood.
Causes of bulimia
He has not been to find an organic cause, arising from this (TCA) eating disorder, but it is believed that there are several sequential factors that can trigger bulimia nervosa. Low self-esteem can lead to an excessive concern for the physical aspect, which leads to restrictive diets, that does not always produce the desired results, alternating with episodes of uncontrolled consumption of food, causing an metabolic imbalance. The patient has feelings of guilt as a result of the binge, and his concern about weight gain generates other behaviors such as self-induced vomiting and abuse of laxatives.
The patient can also feel pressured by the beautiful patterns considered lideales by the society, and the need to be slim and sexy to feel accepted. Experiences of social rejection or a sentimental failure can make you believe that losing weight is a prerequisite for success.
Another cause, present also in the disorder of anorexia, is a false perception of body image: the sick man looks fat even if your weight is normal for their age and Constitution.
Symptoms of bulimiaThe patient with bulimia hides their binge-eating and vomiting, and unlike the anorexic weight not is usually too, so it is difficult, that people in your environment will realize his problem. However, there are certain signs that can alert of the presence of the disease:
The person with bulimia symptoms
- The person with bulimina has a continuous concern for food and feel uncontrollable desire to eat, especially foods with high calories (carbohydrates, sweets...). Consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time (every two hours or even less).
- To counteract weight gain, the patient may cause vomiting, abusing laxatives, consume drugs that reduce appetite or diuretics. There, nothing, suspect, when a person holds in the bathroom after a meal.
- In the same way, other symptoms of bulimia may be fasting for long periods of time, follow very restrictive diet and intense exercise.
- The subject expresses a strong fear to gain weight, setting as a goal their optimal weight, underweight.
- Bulimia usually occurs in patients with a previous history of anorexia nervosa, and the range between the two conditions of several months or years.
- Patients with bulimia manifest apathy, fatigue, irritability and changes in the rhythm of sleep, resulting in a loss of work or school performance, and the abandonment of personal care.
- Other symptoms that can be seen in a medical examination: a slight abdominal distention with presence of constipation, hypertrophy of glands Parotid, loss of tooth enamel, lesions in the throat, electrolyte imbalance, edema in limbs and abrasions on the back of the hands; all this is due to the induction of vomiting. The use of laxatives and diuretics also imbalance of fluids and electrolytes.
- The bulimic endocrine alterations; presents, in addition, the emergence of irregularities in the menstrual cycle or amenorrhea is common in women.
Complications of bulimiaThe bulimic behaviors tend to have little impact on the weight of those affected. However, the alternation of binge eating and vomiting, along with the abuse of laxatives, causes other detrimental health effects:
- Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
- Gastrointestinal disorders, which may lead to irritable bowel, gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia, pancreatitis, break esophageal...
- Injuries to the throat and esophagus.
- Deterioration of tooth enamel.
- Anxiety and depression.
- Alterations in metabolism (reduction in the levels of glucose, chlorine, calcium and potassium in the blood).
- Heart disorders (arrhythmia, hypotension, mitral valve prolapse).
- Decalcification and osteoporosis.
- Menstrual irregularities.
- Kidney problems.
- Loss of libido and lack of interest in social relationships.
- High risk of suicide.
Risk factors of bulimiaIt bulimia nervosa is a serious public health problem, because it affects more than 2% of girls aged between 14 and 18 years, and males at a rate about ten times less, and several studies suggest that the disease continues to grow today. It tends to underestimate the problem, since patients tend to hide the symptoms and not seek help, by which many sufferers have not been diagnosed.
Among the risk factors for developing bulimia include:
- Dieting. In some cases, failure to eat carbohydrates, the person are deprived of an important suppressant of appetite, which makes you feel an uncontrollable desire to eat. In addition, strict diets can affect certain brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which predisposes to bulimia.
- Social influence. Film, television, advertising, fashion... constantly transmit messages that indicate that it is necessary to be thin to be happy and succeed. To achieve to be accepted socially, increasingly younger try to modify their appearance, using methods that endanger their health.
- The incorporation of women into the world of work involves a change in eating habits of families, in the absence of a person who set meal times and monitor their compliance. In this way, teens are less controlled and eaten, or stop eating, without the knowledge of their parents.
- In the most vulnerable, emotional problems as the divorce of the parents, the death of a loved one, family over-protection, or a history of depression and other mental disorders in the family, may be triggering factors of a food disorder.
- On the other hand, extreme concern about the figure and the weight can be a trigger for bulimia, as well as low self-esteem and perfectionism.
Treatment of bulimiaIt is necessary to employ a multidisciplinary treatment to cover all the physical and psychological complications of bulimiapatients have. The goal of treatment is that improve self-esteem a person and accept herself, to restore your emotional balance and that is able to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
During the last decades we have developed a large number of therapeutic for this type of disorder strategies. More applied therapies are individual, group, or family psychotherapy, self-help groups, and drug treatment.
The method used most often in the treatment of this disease is the combination of antidepressant therapy cognitive-behavioral (CBT).
Antidepressants serotonin inhibitors are efficacious in reducing the frequency of episodes in which the patient eats wildly during short periods of time, and self induced vomiting, influencing the improvement of anxiety, depression and global decline, although it does not help to solve the problem of background about the overvaluation of the weight and the body figure. For this reason, often relapse in the long run.
Therapy cognitive-behavioural, for its part, is the most effective way and that better results achieved in the treatment of bulimia. Therapy cognitive-behavioral, as well as improving symptoms, also modifies the tendency to perform extreme diets and influences attitudes towards weight and figure, as well as other symptoms of psychopathology such as depression, low self-esteem, the deterioration of the social relations of the patient, etc); in this way, the results are long-term.
Prevention of bulimiaWe talk about eating, that both young people and adults should avoid a dangerous disorder. These tips should be taken into account by anyone who wants to prevent the bulimia:
- See what you like about your body, remember it, and power that appeal with clothing that best suits your physique. You can also hide the negative aspects. It is normal that certain parts of the body does not like you, and want to improve or hide those defects is not bad, provided that it does not become an obsession.
- You do not compare with others. The physicist is, above all, a matter of genes, and although you can improve practicing sport and with a balanced diet, bone structure and stature cannot be modified. Learn to feel comfortable with your physique because this security is transmitted and resultarás more attractive.
- Knows and values your qualities, and show them when you meet new people. When someone is friendly, witty, kind, says interesting things and knows how to listen, the physicist is in the background.
- Do not criticize the appearance of others. Value them for their qualities and their character, aside from its beauty.
- If you are wrong with your body, don't start a diet on your own without first consulting a professional. You do not isolate, talk to your family and friends. There are always alternatives to improve without falling into bed